Emergency Food Mistakes Preppers Make

Most people don’t need to be told to stockpile survival food anymore. Not after all the recent extreme weather events and manmade disasters that have occurred.

Just about everyone realizes how important it is to have a bare minimum of 72 hours’ worth of non-perishable food on hand. And plenty more if possible.

Unfortunately, many who understand how crucial it is to store survival food are making serious mistakes. And these errors could compromise their stockpiles. 

The good news is that these mistakes can be corrected. Let’s take a look at some of them. Maybe you’ll find a few areas where you can make some improvements.

Mistake No. 1 – Rushing into it blindly

Conduct research first. Figure out the types of food that have the longest shelf lives. And make sure they are foods you and your family members will actually eat.

You may be tempted to only stockpile food you think you should eat, as opposed to those you normally eat.

That’s not necessarily a good idea. You’ll need some familiarity in your diet during an emergency situation. And so will your family members.

Use a variety of sources to research which types of foods others have found helpful in a crisis. This will also keep you from spending more money than necessary.

Mistake No. 2 – Stockpiling too much of one thing

None of us knows how long an emergency will last. If it’s only a few days, eating the same food won’t be a big problem.

But when you are dependent on survival food for any longer than that, you and family members will want some variety.

In other words, don’t just stockpile large bags of wheat, beans and rice. You’ll soon grow tired of the meals you can make with those items.

Advances in freeze-drying and dehydration methods mean almost any food can become a survival food. So make sure all the food groups are represented.

Mistake No. 3 – Failing to protect what you stockpile

There would be almost nothing more discouraging than this scenario. You’ve stockpiled plenty of non-perishable food and suddenly the emergency you’ve been preparing for is here.

But to your horror you discover that because you did not store your food properly, it’s no good anymore. Perhaps you left it in containers that were not airtight. Or those containers were exposed to too much light or heat. 

Or the area of your home where you kept that food experienced a flood. Or you used bags rather than containers, and rodents got into them. 

It’s essential that you stockpile your survival food in a manner that will preserve its taste and nutritional value. A cool, dark place is ideal.

Mistake No. 4 – Assuming all will go well when it counts

You could have a pantry overflowing with canned goods. And totes filled with survival food. But that doesn’t mean you know how to make meals with those items.

And you don’t want to wait for a disaster to find out. Every once in a while, have a “survival weekend” in which you only prepare and eat non-perishable foods.

In addition to making sure you’re confident you can make good meals with those foods, you’ll come up with new ideas about how to combine them.

The key is to practice, practice and then practice some more. Get the whole family involved.

Mistake No. 5 – Putting all your eggs in one basket

Make sure you stockpile food in more than one location. Folks who gather large amounts of survival food and other items are putting all their eggs in one basket if they keep everything in the same place.

A home is a great place to stockpile food, water and other essentials. That’s where you and your family are most likely to be when the stuff hits the fan. But what if your home is destroyed or severely damaged by whatever crisis occurs?

If that’s the only place where you have emergency goods stockpiled – and either you can’t get to them or they’ve been destroyed by the disaster – you will have wasted much time and money preparing for the exact scenario in which you find yourself.

Your secondary location needs to be close enough to get to. But it should also be far enough away that it’s unlikely to be affected by the same disaster that just did a number on your home.

Mistake No. 6 – Failing to include comfort foods

It’s important to keep your body healthy by eating nutritious food that will provide you with the energy you need. And that will be especially true during a crisis when you might be on the move and your stress level will be higher.

But giving your family members and yourself an emotional lift once in a while with foods you and they love will do wonders for everyone’s state of mind. And you can’t underestimate the value of keeping attitudes upbeat when depression could set in.

So, what do I mean by comfort foods? Anything that goes down easy and tastes great. And is easy to prepare and reminds you of a time when things were better.

Are most of them “healthy” and “natural?” No, some are high in calories or sugar. But if most of the food you consume is nutritious, you can afford to eat a snack once in a while that may be better for your attitude than your cholesterol level.

Mistake No. 7 – Failing to stockpile items for bartering

One of the reasons some people don’t bother thinking about or preparing for a disaster is because they believe they have enough money to get through it.

They’re used to drawing upon their wealth to take care of problems. But if we experience a total financial collapse, no amount of money will help.

There are plenty of people who will not be nearly as prepared as you following a disaster. If you have survival food and they don’t, they’ll probably be willing to trade with you.

In other words, the more survival food you own in a post-collapse society, the greater your chances are for acquiring other items you may need.

Mistake No. 8 – Failing to secure your home and possessions

My home is not only where I keep the majority of my emergency supplies. It’s also the place that I’ve spent time and money to secure. If a societal breakdown occurs following a disaster, I want to be prepared to protect my family and belongings.

And because there will probably be a significant amount of lawlessness in a post-collapse society, don’t forget to store the weapons you’ll need to protect what you’ve stockpiled.

A secure home can help protect you, your family and your belongings during a future crisis. Because that’s when you could become a target for thugs who might try to take advantage of law-abiding citizens as society becomes lawless.

Ways to secure your home from invaders include installing secure doors and windows. Plus upgrading door locks and securing the perimeter of your home. As well as installing an alarm and joining a neighborhood watch group. 

Mistake No. 9 – Trying to do it all at once

One thought that discourages some people when they’re just starting out to prepare for an uncertain future is how much they have to do. It seems overwhelming to them. So, some decide not to do it.

That’s a big mistake. By starting slowly and gradually building up your food supplies and know-how, you’ll be amazed at how much progress you’ll make over time. You’ll look back one month from now and realize how much you accomplished.

The key is to stop putting it off and get started. It only requires a few dollars each time you do it.

Just make sure you add at least one item to your stockpile and at least one piece of information to your mind every week. That way, you will definitely make significant progress in a short amount of time.

Mistake No. 10 – Failing to keep your preparations quiet

It’s wise to stockpile as much survival food as you can. It’s not so smart to talk about your supplies in anything other than vague terms.

If you let it be known you have stored non-perishable food, water and other essential supplies for a crisis, you’re going to get unwelcome visitors once that disaster occurs.

Neighbors will remember you’re the person on their block who can get them through a crisis. And it’s possible even a friend will turn on you if he and his family are desperate for food and water.

Among things you want to do when you’re gathering supplies are to buy your survival food from a company that packages it discreetly. And keep that food and other supplies out of sight so that guests won’t notice it.

Mistakes preppers make with meat

This last set of five emergency food mistakes preppers make all pertain to meat.

  • Using the same cutting board for meat and vegetables. Uncooked meat leaves bacteria on your hands, utensils and cutting boards. Use separate boards for meat and veggies.
  • Thawing meat at room temperature. Bacterial growth occurs between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t thaw uncooked meat on a kitchen counter. Thaw it in a refrigerator or in cold water.
  • Failing to properly freeze meat. Wrap uncooked meat from the butcher in both wax paper and aluminum foil. Then seal it in an airtight freezer bag.
  • Cutting meat too quickly after cooking. Once you’ve cooked your meat, allow it to cool for a few minutes before you cut it. Waiting gives time for juices to be distributed more evenly rather than migrating to the center.
  • Refrigerating uncooked meat for too long. Any more than two days for raw ground meats, poultry and seafood is not recommended, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Putting together or purchasing a ready-made survival food stockpile is an excellent idea. In fact, it could end up being a life-saving effort for you. Take a look at our All-Meat Food kit right here.

And avoiding the emergency food mistakes that many preppers make can go a long way to securing your future during difficult times.  


  • David clark - March 24, 2020


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